Wednesday, 10 January 2007
Amid all the hoopla about Apple's iphone and Tivo-box - about how Steve Jobs is changing the world once again - it's worth remembering the following: Jobs, himself, has remained remarkably consistent since he and Steve Wozniak founded Apple 30 years ago. It's the world that has changed around him.
Jobs has always maintained that "building the whole widget" and obsessing over every design detail was the only way to go in the computer industry. It's just that when computers were things that corporate drones stuck under their desks, no one cared about how they looked - and they certainly wouldn't pay a premium for it. Now that our high tech gear tells as much about us as the car we drive, what our devices look like is ALL we care about. Microsoft - the company that nearly vanquished Apple in the 1990s by driving the disaggregation of chip, PC and software manufacturing - now has two products in which it makes the whole widget - Xbox and Zune. It makes the following Walt Mossberg column from last May worth rereading. Too bad Panasonic was first with the slogan "Just slightly ahead of our time." It would apply to Apple quitely nicely right now.